Writer Rachel Swaby points out that cork has been successfully stoppering bottles for thousands of years. Its unique physical properties allow it to compress to half its size and resist decay, even when submerged in liquid for centuries. For long-cellared wines, the oxygen stored inside the cork also helps keep the small amount of sulfur dioxide within the wine from disintegrating and becoming smelly.
Oddly, the article doesn't mention cork's main drawback: cork taint, or the presence of the compound TCA, which gives "corked" wine an unpleasant wet cardboard taste. Screw cap wines don't suffer from this problem, which the cork industry says affects 1.2% of bottles. (A Wine Spectator study of 2,800 bottles found that 7% were tainted.)
• Check it out: Why Cork Is the Most Amazing Material in the World to Keep Your Wine Tasty at Gizmodo
What do you think? Do you prefer wine with corks, or are you a fan of screw caps?